Is It Bread Or Is It Cake?

4.15 a.m.  still wide awake and this tossing and turning is really not exercise.  So off to my writing space and firstly those lists.  I like lists.  I especially like lists when I am crossing off what I have accomplished.  Is it vain to want to pat myself on my back and say well done another job accomplished? Vain? No, definitely not.  It is just a good feeling.

So, the “to do list” for today which is very, very, very long as I was away for a few days was completed.  The next thing was a cuppa.  Kettle boiled, mug warmed, coffee jug ready and NO BREAD.  Yikes not good.  There are some mornings when only a slice of soda bread and jam will do.  This was one of those mornings.

Soda bread and scones would take me no time at all to make. I don’t need a recipe for either.  Changing my normal routine, I decided on scones first then the soda bread as it takes longer to bake.

Measured out the ingredients for scones and decided to measure out the flour for the soda bread while I was at it.  Butter milk out for the bread and while I was taking out the flour I came across the last spoonful of Christmas Mincemeat.  Yes, that would go lovely with the scones.

Baking in the oven, washing up completed, counters cleaned down, a quick scan of the local free newspaper which turned into a toal read of the said newspaper. Yes you’ve guess it I totally forgot about the scones.

I took the baking out of the oven and this is what I had……Scone and Soda Bread all in one!!!!!  Don’t ask.  I had managed to put all the ingredients together.

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It actually tastes grand even though it doesn’t look great. In fact I think that’s an understatement. It looks pretty miserable.

Perhaps I have come up with a new recipe? Perhaps it will take off and I will become know as the woman with the daft bread. Anyone who would like the recipe just give me a short while to try and remember what I actually used.

Perhaps I should have had that coffee or even gone back to bed before I started baking.

Then again perhaps I have given someone a laugh. I hope so.

Have a good day.

Umbrella

 

Today is National Umbrella Day.

When I read this I was delighted.  I really enjoy using an umbrella.  I own a number of them.  Why I hear you ask?  Surely I only need one?

Rain Umbrellas

No not really.  I have a silver one which I purchased in Oxford while on holiday and the inside depicts the constellations of the northern night skies. I would never have chosen it myself but my husband found it and re introduced me to the night sky.

I have a red polka dot umbrella given to me as a birthday present and whenever I use it, which is often if you are living in Ireland, I always find myself twirling the umbrella and singing to myself.  On any grey wet windy day beside the sea it is a splash of colour.  The only draw back to this umbrella is that it doesn’t fold up.

So that meant that I had to keep an eye out for a fold up umbrella for my bag.  There are the basic ones which will do the job but…..A few years ago while on a visit to the National Art Gallery in Dublin, I came out to a down power.  The Gallery shop had umbrellas, books, more books so many items that by the time I had chosen and purchased the umbrella the sun was shinning when I came out.

The umbrella is based on a Monet design and I have to tell you that nine times out of ten when I have that umbrella in my bag it does not rain, but then again there is that one time when it is invaluable.

It was the Chinese who developed the waxed leather umbrella for use by the nobility to protect from the rain in the 11th century B.C.   While parasols were used in Egyptian and Roman empires the custom fell into disuse after the fall of the Roman Empire.  I was amazed to find out that the umbrella dated so far back.

 

25 de octubre de 2014

 

This painting by Des Brophy is one of my favourite paintings.

 

Resonating Image

 

 

Have you ever come across a saying or a quote which exactly sums up numerous thoughts which you have? Not only does it verbally say exactly what you want said but it immediately conjures up an image.

 

A few days ago, I “visited” Appletree Crafts via Facebook.  Appletree Crafts is a one stop shop for everything quilting.  A question was posed “What is the favourite part of your sewing routine?” among the many replies one just stood out for me………

” Learning new techniques feels like adding to my utility belt of skills.”

 

Wow what a brilliant image.  It really resonated with me.  I could so visualise the concept.  Learning a new skill is so exciting and mastering it is when I dance around the craft table.  What about dancing around with a utility belt…….

 

This sums up for me what crafting is all about.  Gathering new skills, learning new skills, enhancing established skills and adding them to this belt with pockets where one can dip into as the need arises

 

I have been playing around with the idea.  When it comes to fruition I will share but until then I hope this will suffice.

 

Abby, I hope you approve.

Are you a poet?

In an article for www.writing.ie “Thoughts for Budding Poets” Liz Cowley says and I quote “…poetry shouldn’t be like medicine – hard to swallow but good for you”.    I totally agree.

Liz Cowley is one of my favourite poets Her work is so accessible.   She can make the most mundane seem important.   That together with the laughter which mingles with the often-tough topics of everyday living is what makes reading her poetry so enjoyable.

Liz Cowley opens the article “Thoughts for Budding Poets” by suggesting that many people are poets but are afraid that that we would be embarrassed by our ramblings/ scribblings.  That those scribblings would not be good enough.  Perhaps she is correct and that there is a poet in all of us just waiting to get out.

 

Why Put Off Things

 

Why delay? Why put them off –

the things we could have done before?

Why is it that we hesitate

and what is it we’re waiting for?

 

Why don’t we do things sooner?

Why do we often hesitate

until the day it’s much later,

it’s suddenly become too late?

 

Taken from the book “And Guess Who He Was With” by Liz Cowley

No Interruptions

Did you know that today was No Interruptions Day? Nor did I til my internal alarm clock went off at 3.00am. Bored with the usual sites I decided to see if December 29th held special significance.

I found that today was the day for sorting out your workspace without any interruptions. This involves clearing out unwanted items. Sorting out those “must do” lists and doing or discarding the items on them. Perhaps they are no longer “must do”.

Perhaps moving the work station to have a different view of the world? Turning off phones, internet connections and have no interruptions.

I have to admit that I found myself laughing out loud. My imagination just ran riot imagining work places being totally overhauled. Work stations being turned around. Perhaps desks being painted? People totally reorganising and in the process creating total chaos.

What about those who work from home on this ” interruptions day”? Perhaps they have a family and with school out can they really have a”no interruption” day?

This idea is similar to “Tick Tock Day”. Yes, there is such a day. Again, it’s the idea of finishing tasks which have not been completed. Or perhaps a goal which has not been achieved.

So, if you have nothing to do today……

Stir Up Sunday

Over many years we have been fortunate to have celebrated “making the Christmas Pudding” with our son and various nieces and nephews.  Whether they enjoyed it I will leave up to them but these are memories which I cherish.

This year we celebrated “making the puds” with the next generation.  I can’t believe that around the table were three of my grand nieces and one of my grand nephews.

Coming into the seomra suite and seeing them engrossed in their tasks was just such a precious sight to behold.  Each and every “mixing memory” came rushing back.  Luke with “Delia Smiths Christmas” propped open to keep us on the right track; Jack and Katie with their incredible laughs; Sarah and Jessica with the phone images; Zoe Adam, Kaela and Clara (keeping watch with Luke) ready with the wooden spoons.

However I don’t think I am going to live it down that the only job I had with Jessica and Sarah was to put the flour into it the puds before steaming…..Yes you guessed it I left out the flour and on Christmas Day when the pudding was turned out it was pure liquid.

Another year with Jack and Katie, I totally forgot about the puds in the steamer and I ended up having to make them again as they the first ones were totally inedible.

The one thing which is common to all these memories is mixing all the ingredients once the stout has been added.  The enthusiasm, the laughter, the mess and last but definitely not least, making that important Christmas wish is the highlight of the occasion.  Eyes scrunched up while saying “I wish, I wish I wish” and silently making that wish.  It still gives me goose bumps.

Christmas PudWhen I was growing up the puds were made immediately after Halloween.  The latest date for making them was the Sunday before Advent in the Christian church.  The Collect for that day starts “Stir up we beseech thee O’ Lord”.  Hence the name “Stir up Sunday”.

I love the traditions of Christmas but sometimes traditions need to be adapted.  Perhaps with the use of Skype or similar, Stir up Sunday next year could include the grand nieces and nephews from farther afield around the world.

I am privileged to have been given so many Christmas Pud memories and to those who gave them to me, thank you.

Christmas puds

20 Minutes

Perhaps 20 minutes isn’t too long in the grand scheme of things.  Perhaps there isn’t much to be achieved in 20 minutes? Well let me tell you there is a hell of a lot which can be achieved in those precious 20 minutes.  A while ago I took part in a survey asking about using 20 minutes to volunteer.  It got me thinking.

What could be made in 20 minutes? What could it be used for? Could it really be termed volunteering? Twenty minutes with my slow crochet work will make a tiny premature baby hat.  Now there are others who crochet and who would make a premature baby jacket in 20 minutes. ( I am slow)  IMAG0791

 

 

Now before you switch off from this post just because you may not be a crafter can I make a suggestion here of how you might be able to volunteer 20 minutes.  Would you have 20 minutes to purchase yarn, fabric and donate it?  If you don’t know anyone directly who knits just contact your local ICA  or similar group they will definitely know.

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Crafting is expensive so two fat quarters of fabric would make a premmie blanket.  2 yards of fabric can be used to make a fidget quilt for a person with dementia.   Then there are the bravery blankies for children and teenagers in hospital with cancer.  2 balls of yarn would go along way to making so many things.

Please don’t think about it just head off and purchase that ball of yarn, or that piece of fabric and pass it on and put a smile on someone’s face.